8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2015 12:28 AM by Vic.BC

    Upgrading my 5 year old workstation, seeking guidance


      OK folks, I'll try to keep this short as I can. Took my 5 year old workstation out of storage and the CPU ended up going on it so I have decided to upgrade the entire thing.


      Eventually down the road if our production company takes off I'll be editing a bit more. For now it is just for personal projects and honestly most of the stuff we shoot either on the Alexa or Dragon I'll be paying a professional editor to work with. I'm that well versed in the post side of things but the idea is we will all be going in on a warehouse space, along with a lighting package I am bringing my computer so I want upgrade it so we can at least use it for some things.


      Budget Range: $1500

      System Usage: Video Editing (up to 4K )

      Parts to Upgrade: CPU/MOBO/MEMORY/STORAGE --- PSU?? GPU??

      Overclocking: No





      Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 4890 XT 1GB

      PSU Corsair TX750W ATX 12V 60A 24PIN ATX

      MOBO ASUS P6T X58 ATX LGA 1336

      CPU Intel Core i7 920 Quad Core **FRIED**

      MEMORY 12GBs Corsair XMS3 HX3X12G1600C9

      STORAGE 2x 500GB HDDs


      Video Card: GeForce GTX 970 GV-N970G1

      PSU I've been told I should be replacing my old one for the risk factor of it going and taking more with it, thoughts?

      MOBO: Asus H170-PRO Not really sure what I should be looking for in a MOBO, an suggestions would be appreciated.

      CPU Intel Core i7-6700 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($435.98 @ Newegg Canada)

      MEMORY G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($149.99 @ DirectCanada)

      STORAGE Now people have been saying I should upgrade to SSDs but I'm not sure if my budget at this time will allow it. With being on such a budget I was thinking I could just add a few more HDDs in RAID or something? I was thinking  a Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB drive for a boot drive then the 2x 500GB in RAID until I have a few extra bucks to spend on designated project drives/media drives/etc.

      Any advice/guidance/opinions/critique will be much appreciated. Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Upgrading my 5 year old workstation, seeking guidance

          You DEFINITELY want SSD.  You won't regret it.  I had the SAME exact mentality as you....until I bought one.  And I never regretted it one bit.  I honestly thought, "it couldn't make that much of a difference".  Boy was I way wrong.  Don't skimp on the SSD for your main drive, OS and apps.  Even if you have to put it on a credit card.  This is a area you DON'T want to skimp on or use the excuse "I don't really have the budget"

          • 2. Re: Upgrading my 5 year old workstation, seeking guidance
            mikeklar Level 1

            Just went through upgrading my five year old system. 

            A couple of observations;

            - The previous responder is correct, get a SSD for your System Drive, it'll make your system feel a lot faster...

            - Regarding the power supply, after five years it's no longer able to put out all of the rated wattage and can be the cause of unexpected system crashes during peak power surges.

            Also, expect to exceed your budget   The good news, the way you're upgrading will allow you to stretch this out over time.

            Like you I rebuild my system to be capable of editing 4K files. 

            One final thought; as I worked through the details on what would best suit me, initially I got stuck on the same concept that served me over the past years, but quickly was reminded if I expect to go for another four or five years with this system I had to go for something that is more upgradable and the key of that was first in the selection of a motherboard and then the CPU. 

            Have fun.


            • 3. Re: Upgrading my 5 year old workstation, seeking guidance
              Vic.BC Level 1

              Do you think a 120GB SSD would be fine for the main boot drive for OS/aps/etc? or should I be looking for a 250GB one?

              • 4. Re: Upgrading my 5 year old workstation, seeking guidance
                Vic.BC Level 1

                Would you be able to suggest a PSU? I'm so out of touch with new tech I wouldn't even know where to start.


                I have possibly changed my direction with the CPU, I had the i7-6700 in mind but a few people have mentioned the Intel i7-5820K 3.3GHZ 6-Core Processor may be more suited to my needs. I am now also eyeing the MSI X99S SLI Plus LGA2011-3 MOBO.



                • 5. Re: Upgrading my 5 year old workstation, seeking guidance
                  mikeklar Level 1


                  You just have to manage all non-system oriented files to go onto other drives.

                  I have a MS Surface with  Win10 Pro, the entire  Adobe Master Suite CS6, CC2015 plus other software, i.e.- MS office etc. on one 256 GB SSD and have 156GB free.


                  • 6. Re: Upgrading my 5 year old workstation, seeking guidance
                    mikeklar Level 1

                    Agree, my only suggestion is for you to consider the number of lanes the CPU can handle for sake of future updates.  However, it does come at a cost i.e. 28 lanes or 40...

                    Regarding PSU, I changed mine a couple of years ago from an old 1000 watt to a 1200 watt unit due to hiccups on startup.  At that time there were 12 HDs, now there are 10 HDs plus several SSDs.  Soon two of the HDs will be replaced by SSDs leaving eight HDs in a RAID configuration.

                    Attached is an image taken about three weeks ago, it's changed a little now...



                    • 7. Re: Upgrading my 5 year old workstation, seeking guidance
                      JFPhoton Level 3

                      you may want to consider :


                      1. 5920K CPU....should overclock to 4.2 or even 4.5 on quality air cooling.

                      2. 980ti single NVidia GPU.....blows away 970.....with overclocked CPU, correct system memory amount and fast drives, will run best

                      3. minimum 32GB system RAM, 64 better

                      4. new 1000 watt power supply

                      5. one Samsung 850 Pro SATA III SSD for boot drive. 256GB is sufficient, 128GB version may run slower and not recommended. Place ONLY OS, programs and Windows page file on this drive......once programs loaded into memory, you are off and running !

                      6. New Samsung 950 Pro NVMe PCI SSD....the largest you can afford. Place ALL other files here, ( media, previews, cache, media cache, project files, and exports. This will be your high speed "working drive"

                      7. One, ( or more) enterprise level large spinning hard drive to OFFLOAD all files from the 950Pro, which will be of limited capacity. Seagate makes up to at least a 6TB  HDD with an 128MB cache that runs at over 200MB/sec. for backups and archiving .

                      8. X99 MOBO that has 8 memory slots and  16/8/4 PCI Gen. 3 lanes configuration....you want that 980ti to be running on the 16x slot.....some boards only offer 8/8/4

                      9. good quality monitor(s), so you can SEE what you are doing OK !.....MINIMUM 2560 x 1440p, ( WQHD) @ 60 FPS  or HIGHER....like a 4k monitor @ 30 or 60FPS....IPS models only. ( I have 2 Acer K272HUL monitors that are 27" and WQHD ) great IPS performance and reviews, but, CHEAP.....can get on sale for $250 each.

                      • 8. Re: Upgrading my 5 year old workstation, seeking guidance
                        Vic.BC Level 1

                        tthanks for the reply, I was getting super anxious so I ended pulling the trigger today on everything here but the PSU.

                        Intel Core i7-5820K - System Build - PCPartPicker Canada